Dubbo Catches | Good-sized redfin on the bite at Lake Burrendong

FISH OUT OF WATER: Schools of good-size redfin have been feeding ferociously at Burrendong with fishers urged to not return the noxious pest to the water. Pictured: Matt Hansen and Troy Millstead.

FISH OUT OF WATER: Schools of good-size redfin have been feeding ferociously at Burrendong with fishers urged to not return the noxious pest to the water. Pictured: Matt Hansen and Troy Millstead.

During the 80s and 90s it was commonplace to bob up a few dozen good size redfin in quick time at Lake Burrendong, with a haul of fish often having an impressive average size of 2-3 pounds.

In more recent times, swarms of smaller redfin have been commonplace in the local dam, with fish just larger than a human hand often caught when targeting golden perch, Murray cod, silver perch or catfish.

Dubbo Catches hit the lake over the weekend and found that the spring time redfin population has burst to life, and the quality and size of the fish has increased dramatically.

Working a likely looking point, the fish finder showed that there was a feeding frenzy in full swing straight under the boat in 8 to 10 metres of water.

Soft lures such as mask vibes and jackal tranzams lightly coated in attractant scent were gobbled up as soon as they got within metres of the bottom, with barely a twitch or retrieve required to entice a bite.  

Redfin galore were soon swinging over the gunnel, with a tasty pile of sweet white fillets growing by the second as the bite went on for almost two hours. Blades, vibes, crank baits, small yabbies and even a bare hook with a sinker at one point, all worked well, with the fish clearly feeding on juvenile bait sized fish, presumably Redfin, that they coughed up regularly after being caught. Two large yellowbelly also turned up in the middle of the school, measuring 57cm and 54cm respectively.

Being highly prized native breeding size fish, they were quickly released, unlike the Redfin that have all but taken over the dam. NSW DPI says that Redfin perch, also known as English perch, is native to northern Europe. Redfin were first introduced to Australia in the 1860s for angling, and are now widespread across much of NSW, ACT, Victoria, Tasmania, south-eastern South Australia and the south-western corner of Western Australia.

Redfin are a popular sport fish amongst fishers due to their fighting qualities and taste. However, they are also voracious predators of other fish and invertebrates, can destroy recreational fisheries in enclosed waters by building up large numbers of stunted fish and eliminating other species, and can devastate native fish populations by carrying the epizootic haematopoietic necrosis (EHN) virus. For these reasons, redfin are considered a serious pest and in December 2010 were listed as a Class 1 noxious species in NSW.

Be up to date: Please make sure you visit www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishing/recreational/fishing-rules-and-regs

Submit: matt@reddenhansen.com.au.